The Prophet’s (s) role in creating unity and brotherhood amongst the Muslims

“Verily the believers are brothers so make peace between your two brothers.”

The first point that stands out in the Prophet’s (s) life is brotherhood and unity in which he practically implemented amongst his followers. He also mentioned it on various occasions. In the first years of the migration, when the numbers of Muslims increased when the people of Medina accepted Islam, he made the brotherhood contract between the Muslims of Mecca (muhajireen) and the Muslims of Medina (ansar). In order to emphasize this matter he repeatedly stated: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim – do not oppress him and do not make him surrender to you.” He also stated: “A Muslim is for a Muslim like a building where every brick increases the overall strength of the building.” At this moment he would put his fingers together to stress the importance of what he is saying.

It seems as if the Prophet (s) saw what was going to happen after him in that the Muslims will form sects and the members of each sect would fight with the members of other sects. That is why he clearly explained Islam in that it causes unity amongst the Muslims by saying: “Whoever testifies to the oneness of Allah; whoever faces our direction of prayer; whoever prays like us; whoever eats the meat that was slaughtered by Muslims is a Muslim.”

In another tradition it states: “A person who tastes Islam is a person who is satisfied with Allah, his Lord. Islam is his religion and Muhammad is his prophet.”

Abdullah bin Umar also narrated a tradition from the Noble Prophet (s) which states: “I have been ordered to fight against the people until they bear witness to the oneness of Allah and the messengerhood of the Prophet (s); until they pray and pay religious taxes. When they act in accordance to these their blood and property would be respected, unless they are in opposition to a right that Islam has ordained. The account of all of this is with Allah.”

Even in the last years of the Prophet’s (s) life in Medina where the practical laws of Islam were completed and hordes of people accepted Islam a five-facet document was sent to all of the people who have a tendency for accepting Islam. This was the determining factor behind the practical method of Islam and Muslims and attacking the sanctuaries of a person who has accepted the five mentioned facets was prohibited.

This document which was announced through the Prophet and after him through the divine religious leaders (a) is as follows: The Prophet stated that Islam is secure under five foundations:

  1. Bearing testimony to the oneness of Allah and the messengership of the Prophet.
  2. Praying.
  3. Paying the religious dues.
  4. Performing the pilgrimage.
  5. Fasting in the month of Ramadan.

The Prophet (s), with utmost clarity, stated in regards to the importance of unity amongst the Muslims and refraining from creating sects: “Unison causes goodness and division causes punishment. Whoever distances himself from the unison will die the death of a person in the state of ignorance.” Referring to the words of the Messenger of Allah (a) shows that he invited the nation to unity.

The Prophet (s) did not consider there to be any merits over one’s tribe, language, race, or the likes – the only merit of a human over another human is by piety.

The Prophet states: “The person’s tribe and family relations whose actions cannot lead him anywhere will not lead him anywhere either.”

When everyone knows that their creator is one and when everyone knows that they came into existence from one father and one mother they will fall under the ruling in the verse: “Verily believers are brothers.” As a result, they will desire for their religious brother what they desire for themselves and they will not desire for their religious brother what they do not desire for themselves.

The Prophet (s) practically established brotherhood between the Muslims from Mecca and the Muslims from Medina in Medina. This pact was so valuable that the Muslims who partook in it took pride in being a part of it.

So, what happened in that over time divisions occurred? Is it not the case that those who are unaware of Allah and those who are the enemies of the time have used division to destroy Islam? Imam Khomeini (r) stated that the people who occupied Muslim lands and the people who sought power separated Muslims from one another forming numerous nations. When the huge Othmani government was established the occupiers divided it up. Russia, the countries surrounding Russia, and all of the other occupiers joined forces and fought against it. Each one of these countries took a part of it or, in the least, influenced a part of it. It must be said that most of the rulers of the Othmani government were not suitable for leadership and some of them were corrupt. But, this was the danger of occupiers – they would find the righteous from amongst the nation, use the people to put them at the head of the government, and strongly put up a nationalistic front. After the many battles of the First World War they divided up the Othmani government creating ten to fifteen small countries. Each small portion was given to one of their supporters.

Another factor behind division was the incorrect actions of the Muslims themselves. Ones actions has an effect on others – an effect that is different than speech. The effect of speech is short-lived while the effect of action is deep and rooted. Therefore, it has been said since ancient times that 200 sayings are not worth half of an action. According to this, Islam has ordered its followers to invite people to Islam with their actions before they invite them with their speech. Islam strongly prohibits one to invite someone to do something that they do not do themselves. This is considered a greater sin.

Since Islam is an international religion and all Muslims have the duty of trying to spread this grand message. Muslims cannot shirk the duty of guiding others. Therefore, it is necessary for Muslims to invite people to Islam through their actions before they invite them through their speech. It is self-evident that all people are not able to recognize the religion by only referring to the principle sources; rather, most people recognize Islam through the actions of Muslims. Therefore, each Muslim must become a speaking Quran; a walking Islam. Sometimes the humanistic action of a follower of a certain school of thought affects another human being more than a hundred times that of speeches or books. It attracts them to the specific school of thought. The opposite is also true. If you look at the complaints that people have with religion you will realize that the complaints are normally about the followers of religion and not about the principle religion itself. For instance, it has been seen many times that one would say if such and such religion brings about success then why is the follower of that religion unsuccessful? This religion did not guide him and did not prevent him from committing evil actions. God-willing we will witness Islamic unity in the society.

Islam Times

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